Colourful, undulating, uplifting, inspiring, might be some of the words to describe the abstract collection of paintings by Judith DesBrisay hanging in the Station House’s main gallery this month.
The show is simply called Possibilities and is inspired by her travels, her love for the natural world, concern for the environment and the luxuriant growth in her garden.
“I am really aware of climate change and the harm that human beings are actually doing to one another,” says DesBrisay, who lives an environmentally friendly off-grid lifestyle with her husband in a remote wilderness setting near Quesnel.
At a certain point in 2012, DesBrisay says she was sitting in her garden and realized that she didn’t want to forget about climate change and the environment in her work but that she needed to take a deep breath and focus on the beauty in the world.
“Look at how beautiful the world is,” DesBrisay says. “Wouldn’t you do anything to maintain it?”
Her work is inspired and framed by living, working, painting and sketching in Chile for four years, travels around South and North America including Greenland, three trips to the high Arctic and a trip to the Antarctica.
“Possibilities artworks depict the forms, colours, and light ablaze in my earthly niche,” DesBrisay explains in her artist’s statement. “Upon completion of the original Possibilities paintings I selected portions of several works. Each ‘excerpt’ has been developed into a smaller painting, echoing some of the characteristics and feelings of ‘parent’ pieces.”
She says she hopes the paintings will prompt others to acknowledge the diversity of life and landscape, its beauty and its challenges.
“Viewers, who bring their own perspectives to these art works, will surely consider participation in world-wide actions to ensure the immediate changes necessary to re-establish and sustain Earth’s joyous yet delicate balance of life.”
DesBrisay grew up in the Kootenays and has been painting for 50 years, actively for the past 25 years. Her career has included being a community health nurse/educator, earning a diploma at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and teaching art classes.
She has participated in 90 group shows and 24 solo shows.
In her biography DesBrisay says her approach to life and art can best be summarized as exploratory.
Selected works are included in permanent collections at Penticton, Prince George and Quesnel, and in Antofagasta, Chile.
Her paintings can also be found in Quesnel’s Breeze and Gold Gallery and the Quesnel Art Gallery.